I don’t know about you but I was sold the moment I heard Roll The Tanks’ 2012 self-titled EP. Inspired by classic rock but with a modern sound, this foursome ‘wants to be the reason Dave Grohl can take a nap’. After inking a deal with Epitaph, they are off to a good start with their new album “Broke Til Midnight” (which is out now). Here’s what vocalist/guitarist Danny Carney had to tell us.
PRT: First of all, congratulations with the new album! Not really a question there but still…
Danny: Thank you!!
PRT: You’ve recently signed a deal with Epitaph Records. What’s it like to be on the label that released albums by Bad Religion, Offspring, Alkaline Trio, Weezer,…?
Danny: It's been amazing really. I grew up listening to Epitaph. It still hasn't hit me yet, it's pretty ridiculous. Rancid and Bad Religion were a huge part of me becoming a songwriter and wanting to be in a band. It feels good to be home.
PRT: Can you give me the history of the band written in the form of a tweet?
Danny: "Lowell Mass college dropouts move to California party too hard play too hard crash and burn come back from the dead and make all your dreams come true with love and rock n roll and stuff, etc. #hiztory"
PRT: For the people out there who haven’t heard you yet… if Roll The Tanks was the lovechild of two other bands, which bands would’ve had sex and which position were you conceived in?
Danny: Well we've long elected T-Rex and The Clash as the band's godparents, since they collectively gave us our band name and were huge influences on our sound. But Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Cheap Trick are right up there too now, especially in recent years. So I think those 4 bands did something nasty to make us. I'm sure the positions used were equal parts unique, important, and clearly effective!
PRT: You are being described as a band’s band. What does that mean to you exactly?
Danny: I don't really know where that comes from, I think it's a good thing but also maybe kind of a curse? A ton of modern bands are just merch booths with a band name attached. So you can tell when someone is just being nice and saying "great set tonight", or when they're thinking "if I had a crumb of decency in my soul I'd totally be doing what you guys are doing". But I think it also has to do with the fact that we sing about being in a band too, which has always come naturally to me. It's cathartic and funny and fun and neat.
PRT: On your Facebook page you have ‘Yuccas on Hillhurst’ listed under band interests. Come again?
Danny: Best Tacos in the world. We eat there a lot, you can go there with a couple of bucks and eat like a king. If you ever go tell Mama we say "hi Mama"
PRT: You cite a bunch of really cool influences ranging from Pixies to Tom Petty to Joe Strummer. If there was one artist you could work with in the studio for one day, who would it be and why?
Danny: Personally I'd have to go with Jeff Lynne. I have a deep connection with his songwriting and production style, and we also happen to have similar haircuts, which is so important these days. A pipe dream of mine is to make a punk rock Full Moon Fever with him some day.
PRT: Your new album just came out. Why should people pick up a copy? Other than it coming with a bunch of catchy and highly addictive rock ‘n roll tunes…
Danny: It's worth picking up if you've been musically disappointed for the last 10 years. We made it for the handful of people who aren't on ecstasy and have to go to work every day. If you're a great person you'll probably love this record. If you're a terrible asshole it's probably not for you. Know what I mean?
PRT: The artwork for “Broke Til Midnight” comes with the same color scheme as the EP. Is that a thing for you guys?
Danny: Well the EP was really just a sampler of the record while we sorted out litigation and logistical nightmares. But those are our band colors for the time being. We're dinosaurs when it comes to marketing and stuff like that. We try to focus on things like songwriting and the quality of our live performances. We're silly like that.
PRT: “We’re going to make records because that’s what we want to do – make records” is a quote from you guys. What do you think of the fact that the music industry nowadays has evolved from kids looking forward to a new album for months and bands going on tour to promote it to – putting it crudely – releasing albums as a means to go on tour.
Danny: I think it's sad. I couldn't imagine touring on a mediocre record for 2 years. That would kill me. I wish it was a problem instead of the norm. I'd rather fail in a gutter than campaign and beg people to "like" my art. I'm all about hustle and hard work, but I love when it's backed by quality and heart.
PRT: What’s up next for you guys?
Danny: Hitting the road and working on our next record. We're already really far along on the next one. We're sifting through over 100 songs.
PRT: What is the one video on YouTube that left you speechless?